"Fresh activity is the only means of overcoming adversity." – Goethe
Monday morning, we all woke up to a new deficit-reduction plan from the White House: raise taxes.
(Story here: http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-obama-deficit-20110918,0,2819262.story )
I’m not here to beat anyone’s political head on the wall, so I’ll restrict my comments to a few key points — for YOU:
1) It’s not a question of *if* the government raises taxes, but by how much and on whom. Clearly, the White House believes that they have political cover to tax the Warren Buffett’s of the world (hence the name for this new proposal: "The Buffett Tax"), but hear me now and believe me later: this will affect you in some fashion. So prepare your tax situation NOW (tax planning, anyone?).
2) You need to plan to take the savings where you can, when you can. Business Owners: there is an enormous tax hike coming in 2013 when many deductions and cuts phase out.
Families: The so-called "Bush Tax Cuts" are a prime candidate for being canceled (partly because their moniker being associated with our previous President), and as fiscal reality continues to hit federal and state governments — well, let’s just say that you’ll want someone who can be creative, on your side.
So, are you scared?
Well, don’t be. After all, you happen to have someone on your side (and I’m not referring to Nationwide)!
In that spirit, I’ve put together some quick ideas for you to lower your tax bill this year — don’t let these go to waste!
"Real World" Personal Strategy
2011 Tax Deductions To Leverage
Sure, this might seem a bit premature — April is still a good deal away. But there are certain tax deductions and credits which go away in December. And it’s always a good idea to take a good hard look at taking advantage of them while you still have time on your hands.
And, if you have any questions about these (or want to take a broad look at your overall tax position), give us a call: (818)435-2321. We’re right here.
1. Energy credits are still worth taking. The tax credits for certain basic home improvements — including the installation of insulation, certain HVAC systems, water heaters, windows, doors, and roofing — are skimpier this year.
But what’s worse than skimpier credits? Why, *NO* credits, of course. And since there are no good signs of these credits being renewed, it’s time to get a move on! Go to www.EnergyStar.gov to get specifics.
2. Use capital losses to your advantage. If you have some portfolio losers, but you still like them, now is the time to grab those deductions by selling down positions. After 30 days, you can safely re-purchase any stocks which look like they could still be long-term winners, and retain the capital loss deduction safely (but if you do this before 30 days, you don’t get to record the loss).
3. Re-characterize a Roth back to an IRA. If you converted a traditional IRA to a Roth in 2011, and have since suffered huge losses, you might want to reverse the conversion (which is called a recharacterization).
The reason: Your tax bill is based on the IRA’s value at conversion, so you’ll owe income taxes on money you no longer have. Even better, you also still have a chance to recharacterize a 2010 conversion, but act fast. That deadline is Oct. 17.
I’ll have plenty more on to say on these and other subjects as we get closer to the end of the year — but the BEST thing may be to have us sit down with you and take a clear look at your exact situation with you.
Let us help you wade through all the mess; we’re good mess-waders.
To You and Your Family’s Peace of Mind!